We learned today from a Tweet that eBay has lowered the minimum value required for trading card users that can be sent to the new eBay Vault to $350 now.
In addition to the tweet, eBay adjusted the requirement on its official eBay Vault page as well.
For those who missed the initial announcement in June, the threshold started at $750. This is a significant adjustment as it makes more trading cards eligible for inclusion in the eBay Vault program less than two months after the program launched.
What’s going on?
Is this just a way to slowly kickstart this program, or are there more crickets in the eBay Vault than high-value trading cards?
eBay hasn’t released an official announcement about this change, just a Tweet, which is a weird way of “promoting” that more cards have become eligible. Why?
Chests are everywhere
The safe concept is not as groundbreaking or innovative as eBay presented it when it launched. This can create challenges for the company as it attempts to scale the program among a growing list of competitors in this space.
PWCC claims to have been the first company in the trading card industry to launch a vault program in 2020, and now even uses the slogan “The Original Trading Card Vault®to promote his vault.
The company used to sell on eBay but was kicked out of the marketplace for allegedly violating eBay’s shilling bidding policy. Since then, it has launched its own trading card marketplace which is integrated with its vault program.
PWCC doesn’t have a minimum threshold per se, but will charge a fee on vault items worth less than $250 unless purchased on the platform. Recently he claimed to have over $1 billion in assets in his vault.
Alt, a new upstart alternative asset market, is also promoting a secure safe to store trading cards and even allows users to borrow funds against their stored assets. Like eBay, Alt may be looking to expand its vault beyond trading cards, as its market is larger than PWCC.
Additionally, Alt’s website offers to help users transfer scarce or bulk assets to its vault by helping arrange an armed transport or private jet, suggesting it is focusing on high-end customers. of range. But despite the “premium appearance” of Alt’s vault program, there doesn’t seem to be a minimum value requirement.
The company owns PSA, one of the world’s most trusted collectible card, ticket and original photograph authentication services, which is a widely accepted industry standard.
It’s probably a safe bet to assume that Collectors plans to pool all of its corporate assets to scale its vault program.
While eBay didn’t invent the concept of a vault, the sheer size of the market certainly means they should have a significant share of trading card collectors and investors wanting to store items in their vault. .
It’s a brand name people know and trust, backed by a long track record of profitable business. In other words, it does not disappear and it does not depend on venture capital to finance its operation or the acquisition of commercial entities in order to develop its market place activity.
Yet unlike its competitors today, eBay decided to launch its vault program requiring a minimum value of $750, putting the program at the high end. Did the management think that its brand equity could support an entry at a higher valuation threshold?
Even bringing it down to $350 now, the new lower value threshold is still way above the other trading card vaults mentioned.
When eBay launched its vault, there was no mention of a gradual decrease in the value threshold.
In some ways, initially controlling the flow of cards to its vault by limiting the program to higher value cards would make sense, as it would allow eBay to fix any problems in operations.
Many may remember the delays its Sneaker Authenticity program suffered at launch and it’s possible eBay tried to avoid such a launch disaster again.
Yet when companies announce new features or services, they often present a short-term plan for how the program will evolve.
eBay did this for its vault announcement saying it plans to make more collectibles and luxury goods eligible in 2023. But there was no indication that it would be possible to expand the collectible card eligibility over the next few months by lowering the evaluation threshold. None, Zip, Zilch!
Is eBay Vault not attracting user interest?
The “mystery” around eBay somewhat quietly lowering the threshold even involves the company’s latest earnings call.
During remarks prepared by eBay CEO Jamie Iannone, he said: “[t]The vault initially accepts authenticated and graduated trading cards over $500.
Well, that’s not quite right now, is it? We know the program started at $750, which is backed by the original press release.
With Iannone’s earnings appeal statement, we now know that eBay apparently lowered the threshold to $500 earlier and with today’s Tweet, we know it’s now $350.
Additionally, on the earnings call, Iannone was asked how customers reacted to the new vault program. He claimed early customer feedback had been positive (we were expecting more), but later said something interesting about the progress of the safe, “we’re kind of on the right track with what we thought.”
The phrase “sort of on the right track” does not sound like the program is setting the world on fire.
This all sounds a bit strange and seems to imply that eBay management thought they could maintain a higher value standard for their vault product, leveraging its brand value to attract more expensive items.
But with two value threshold drops in less than two months to expand the pool of eligible cards, it doesn’t look too promising at the moment.
It’s too early to call the eBay vault a failure, that would be unfair. But it looks like the program is starting slower than expected, as competition in the space increases.
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